Creating the Perfect Sunroom

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Whether you’re converting an existing space into a sunroom or adding on, you’ll want to get the most out of its square footage. Follow these tips and it will quickly become your favorite spot in the house.

1. Figure out its purpose.

A sunroom should be a relaxed and inviting environment with comfortable seating that takes its cue from what’s happening in the adjoining space. “If your sunroom is off your kitchen, it could function as a multipurpose family room or den with a casual eating area,” says L.A. interior designer Scott Delello. If it’s poolside, it could be more of a retreat – an extension of the pool area that houses a hot tub or shower.

2. Determine what ambiance you want.

Think about how you want to feel when you enter the sunroom. “Do you want a warm environment with wood floors and deep earthy tones?” asks Delello. “Or do you want the space to enhance natural sunlight by using more reflective materials like stone or tile with pale blues, yellows, whites and floral motifs?” If you have only one wall to decorate and the rest provide a fabulous view of nature, the wall and floor should tie into the outdoors. For example, if you are surrounded by woody evergreens that filter a lot of natural light, Delello suggests your theme should play into that by continuing the woodsy warm feel.

3. Organize the furniture with logic and comfort in mind.

How you arrange the furniture depends on the size, shape, and ultimate function of the room, says Delello. In a small space whose sole function is as an eating area, the table and chairs should be front and center and easy to reach with no obstacles in the way. A larger space may be divided into zones: One corner could have a settee, a few chairs, and a coffee table, while another area could be more recreational, with a pool table and TV.

4. Pick the right materials.

Wicker is a good and practical furniture choice for a sunroom since it holds up well to extreme sunlight flooding the room. A choice to avoid: plush sofas and traditional overstuffed furnishings, which would look out of place. “Nature abounds in a sunroom, so your furniture should be more organic to jive with your surroundings,” says Delello. Get a fun pattern for the cushions and throw pillows in an outdoor fabric, which is made to stand up to the sun's harsh rays that tend to fade many materials.

5. Avoid clutter.

A sunroom should have an open feeling, so the less clutter the better. Find furnishings with concealed storage for things like the toys and small electronics to keep things tidy.

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